Project Closure

Project Managers often hand over the ‘baby’ to the Operations Managers and move onto the next project without so much as a thought – but it helps to have an agreed project closure strategy in place.  Over the life of the project, progressively develop a project closure plan incorporating tasks, dependencies and resources required.  All projects are by definition unique, but here are a few basic tips (in no particular order) to consider towards the end of the project:

  • Internal Review – consult your project team, review project & business performance indicators, and identify any remaining or suggested tasks that still need to be completed
  • Engagement – meet with project sponsors, review project & business performance indicators, review outstanding tasks, review project closure plan, and agree the closure steps
  • Staff – personally thank all project staff, complete personnel evaluations, exit interview all project staff, and ensure staff know where they are going next
  • Suppliers – personally thank all project suppliers, service providers and other contributors in writing, making sure they know why you are thanking them
  • Finances – complete all staff and vendor payments, close all relevant project codes, capitalise allowable expenditure, and update the asset register
  • Resources – identify whether there is a role for you in the redeployment of office space, office equipment, software licences, etc
  • Information – close project schedule, close project registers (risks, issues, etc), close physical files, close project mailboxes, archive all documents and emails, tidy up the information directory structure, and withdraw any staff security privileges (ICT and office)
  • Celebrate – nominate staff for awards (or make up your own), and celebrate the end of the project accordingly (gifts, lunches, parties, drinks, etc)
  • Closure – complete your lessons learned (post-implementation) report, file and dsitribute it accordingly, and your finish your project manager’s journal

Looking back to acknowledge how far you’ve come is very important – and then you can move forward with an idea of how you can do things better and with the confidence that you have done your best.